Students from the University of Vienna took part in United Nations Security Council simulation at the VIC
"I want to motivate young people to become more involved with the United Nations and discover how the different UN organizations work," said Klaus Billand from UNIDO in his welcome note to the students assembled in a meeting room at the United Nations Office in Vienna. Since 2011, lecturers like Mr. Billand from different Vienna-based international organizations form part of a seminar entitled "Cooperation between States in the Framework of International Law" at the University of Vienna. As part of the seminar, students could participate in the simulation of a meeting of the UN Security Council hosted by the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) at the Vienna International Centre on 28 June 2012.
Representing the different Member States of the Security Council, the students discussed the issue of Palestine becoming recognized as a Member State of the United Nations. Organizing Professor Ingfrid Schütz-Müller acted in the role of Secretary-General, while Klaus Billand chaired the meeting as President of the Security Council. Middle East expert from the University of Warwick Barbara Allen Roberson further supported the participants with her expertise on the issue.
After presenting their well prepared statements, the students engaged in a lively debate with the goal of agreeing on a common resolution on the status of Palestine. In a final session, the drafted resolution and all the amendments were passed through a vote and Palestine was granted Observer State status at the United Nations. This realistic experience with international politics left the students motivated and very interested in engaging more with UN topics. "The students could have kept on discussing forever," said Professor Schütz-Müller after the successful event.